Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 23rd February 2016
A deal that will see a change of owner at Bolton Wanderers Football Club has been agreed on the same day as the club was given until March 7th to settle its debts with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
A deal initially worth £7.5 million is now set to see a consortium called Sports Shield, which is led by former Bolton striker Dean Holdsworth, take over the football club in the coming days.
Paperwork relating to the takeover was apparently signed on Monday February 22nd and the deal is now set to go ahead pending approval from the Football League.
Elsewhere on the same day, a winding-up hearing at the High Court in London heard that Bolton owed £2.2 million to HMRC in relation unpaid taxes and VAT amounts.
However, the court granted the Greater Manchester club extra time to settle its debts with HMRC, just as it did in mid-January.
In recent weeks, the club and its owners have been selling various assets, including its training ground and the car park around its stadium, in order to fend off creditors and avoid being wound up or forced into administration.
Trevor Birch, an adviser to the Bolton Wanderers board of directors, said in a statement released on Monday: “While this continues to be a challenging time for everyone associated with the club, we are confident that this adjournment will give us the necessary time to conclude a transfer of ownership of the club, subject to approval from the Football League.”
Sport Shield’s takeover deal is reported to involve an initial £7.5 million payment followed by further payments worth a total of £12.5 million over the course of the next five years.
Bolton currently sit second from bottom of the Sky Bet Championship and £172.9 million in debt.
“It’s a great day and I’m absolutely honoured to be a part of this club again,” Holdsworth, who played 158 times for Bolton Wanderers, told the Bolton News after the takeover deal was announced.
“More importantly it lets the people who have been at this club through thick and thin look forward to the future,” he said.